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Unlocking Savings: A Guide to Understanding PG&E Electric Bills

Updated: Apr 10

You may have recently heard of PG&E’s $2.2B profits for 2023 and be wondering how can I lower my PG&E bill?! While many homeowners and renters are struggling to make their utility payments, PG&E’s profits are soaring. There are some simple ways you can save on your monthly bill by understanding rate codes and available programs to enroll in that will immidiately  

In this article you will find answers to questions you may have about what Electric Rate codes are, what options you have to choose from, and ways you can save money on a high PG&E Bill. Sometimes Rate Codes sound confusing and complicated, but Vital Energy Solutions is here to help you better understand your bill, how to best use the tools available and most importantly how to save money on your monthly power bill. 

Below you will find rate code definitions, and various programs PG&E offers to help lower your bill. There are many ways other than PG&E to lower your bill, if you would like more information on how to get your power bill as low as possible, please contact Vital Energy Solutions or call us at (707) 800-3884. We would be happy to schedule a call to help you better understand why your bill is high and offer support on any energy efficiency decisions. 

What is a utility rate and why is it important? 

A utility rate refers to the price charged by a utility company for providing a specific utility service, such as electricity, water, or natural gas, to consumers or businesses. These rates are typically determined by regulatory agencies or government bodies and can vary based on factors such as the cost of production, distribution, infrastructure maintenance, regulatory requirements, and sometimes even environmental considerations.

What are the different rate options for Residential Homes? 

Standard Rate (Typically the default PG&E account rate)

Tiered Rate E-1

Choose this plan if you can conserve energy throughout the month, but you are unable to reduce your energy use during the late afternoon or early evening hours. This rate is typically the rate you are automatically enrolled in when establishing your PG&E account. 

Time of Use (TOU)

Time-of-Use rate plans are based on how much energy you use and when you use it. By shifting some electricity use to times when costs are less and demand is down, you can lower your bill and improve the environment.

Time of Use (Peak Pricing 4–9 p.m. Every Day) E-TOU-C

A good plan if you can shift some of your electricity use to outside of 4-9 p.m. every day. Outside this period, prices are lower and renewables are more plentiful.

Time of Use (Peak Pricing 5–8 p.m. Weekdays) E-TOU-D

A good choice if you typically use a high amount of electricity throughout the month but can shift some of your electricity use outside of 5-8 p.m. on weekdays to times when prices are lower.

Electric Home or Homes with Electric Vehicles 

Electric Home and Home Charging rate plans require one or more of the following technologies to qualify: electric vehicle, battery storage, electric heat pump (water heater and/or climate control).

Electric Home (E-ELEC)

Best if you electrify your home with one or more qualifying technologies and are a large electricity user who can shift usage to times of the day when there are lower prices.

Includes a monthly $15 basic service charge that lowers your price per unit of energy (kWh), on average, compared to other rate plans.

Home Charging (EV2-A)

If you can charge your EV overnight and shift most of your energy use to the lower cost, off-peak hours, this could be the right plan for you (e.g., 12 a.m.–3 p.m.).

Schedule EV, Option B (EV-B) separates your vehicle’s electricity costs from your home with the installation of a second meter. Save money by charging your EV during off-peak hours (11 p.m.–7 a.m.).

How can I reduce my PG&E Bill without changing my rate code?

If you want to reduce your PG&E bill more than just a rate change there are multiple ways you can do so. 



Offers a discount of 20% or more on utility bills for qualifying individuals.

Provides an 18% monthly discount on electric rates for income-qualified customers in households with three or more people.

For individuals with medical devices or specific medical needs, this program offers an additional allotment of approximately 500 kWh of electricity and/or 25 therms of gas per month, verified by a medical practitioner during certification.

Solar Battery Rebates (High Fire Threat Area)

Qualifying residents in high fire threat areas with medical baseline status can benefit from state Solar Battery Rebates.

A debt forgiveness plan for eligible residential customers who have faced hardships due to the pandemic. Eligible customers can receive forgiveness of up to $8,000 in unpaid balances through the Arrearage Management Plan (AMP).

Payment Plan Options

Various payment plan options are available for those needing additional time to make payments.

With all these various rate codes and financial program options, it can be difficult to navigate which rate to choose or which program you qualify for. If you would like additional information and options on how to navigate through all the various options, please do not hesitate to reach out to Vital Energy Solutions anytime at or by phone at (707) 800-3884. 

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